ST-AAW Sudan Airways – Gordon Riley
Sudan Airways was formed in 1946 and was wholly State owned. It operated various routes throughout Sudan and to Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Jeddah, Cairo, Beirut, Athens, Rome, Tripoli and London. In addition to regular scheduled flights Sudan Airways also operated charters flights.
The airline purchased two Comet 4Cs. (These were originally destined for Mexicana but due to financial difficulties the Mexicans options were not taken up). ST-AAW was the first aircraft delivered on 13th November 1962 (previously pre-registered XA-NAD and G-ASDZ). Incidentally G-ASDZ was the original registration granted to de Havilland for a special occasion in 1962. Although the aircraft was ready to be handed over, Sudan’s crew training was incomplete. de Havilland temporarily registered the aircraft so the Company’s crews could fly the Comet out to Khartoum for the country’s independence celebrations. Naturally the flight doubled up as a training flight.
The second aircraft ST-AAX (XA-NAE) was delivered the following month. (This was the last Comet – c/n 6463 – to be built at Hatfield.
The Comets saw more than ten years successful service with Sudan. Their first Comet to be withdrawn was ST-AAW which was initially put into storage at Khartoum in October 1973. Sudan Airways put the aircraft in the hands of a broker whose advertisement stated that the Comets were “in excellent condition with ‘high remaining engine life and five to six years operation on spars’.” Including spares the asking price was £170,000 each.
Later ST-AAW was flown to Britain and put into storage at Tees-side airport. Dan-Air purchased both aircraft in June 1975.